What is your experience with the latest version of the SE (slim) army book? (2nd Ed Dec26 2020)

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  • I think these last few posts sum up what consider to be the 2 main problems with the book at the moment, lack of synergy between spirits and elves, and still excessive RPS where magic paths like pyromancy are involved.

    I know that hyper-aggressive play can limit the second problem, but going all out to be in combat by turn 2 doesn't feel right for SE IMO. That feels more DE-like to me, and I feel that even aggressive SE play should involve more maneuvering to get the most favourable combats, not just rushing straight in, and to do that, we need to be able to survive a few turns of taking hits from magic, which doesn't really work at present.
    My SE homebrew (New version 7/6/2020)
  • Aegis vs magic seems very clumsy and inelegant to me. We need more counterplay to magic blastyness IMO, not flat protection. In other words, it should be more like our defence against BS shooting, and require careful positioning and planning to make full use of.

    Having SE needing to dodge around, using cover, range etc to mitigate the effects of shooting, but be able to just march straight into a barrage of fireballs or whatever just seems wrong.

    Giving us skill based counterplay isn't easy to do well. In my Homebrew, I have given some units a conditional +1MR when in cover, to try to make it work more like cover vs regular shooting mechanics, and to represent it requiring more effort to cast a spell at a target when you aren't sure where it is exactly. It isn't quite right, but it's the best idea I've been able to come up with so far. Perhaps instead, any ranged attacks with random numbers of automatic hits, like spells, could have minimized roll for the number of hits if the target SE unit is in cover?
    My SE homebrew (New version 7/6/2020)
  • I don't understand why people say that there is no synergy between elves and trees? There are heaps of synergies actually. The troops work really well together, however I have only found the tree parts useful and would not be caught dead playing elf lists, especially since other armies do it better and for less points with less drawbacks. I am still baffled how others make most of the elf parts work. I often dream of putting some elves into the mix, since they synch really well with the trees, but most elf units just don't perform well enough.

    I have had success with some elf troops but I do find most elite combat ones too gentle and too easy to counter, I have never had trouble facing them with other armies and I don't need magic missiles to melt most elf troops very quickly.

    The synergies between elves and trees are plenty, once you get over some list building restrictions. Apart from the hammer and anvil tactics with trees that hold easily and elves which want to be grinding in flanks to minimise attacks back you can rely on other moves; Use treefathers to block charges onto archers by reforming archers sideways and 75mm base to block; Fast elf troops to cover weakness of slow lateral repositioning of thickets, kestrels or hunters zoning areas or threatening parts allows thickets to advance more easily; Treefathers and archers combine shooting potential to be more able to overwhelm gentle targets; Height of thickets/father to block line of sight from certain troops where without them it would not be possible to, this includes single characters like altar or even bsb/mage who have dodged to safety; Magic path synergies, shamanism helps trees a lot and certain divination spells are also great for elves; scoring that is cheap and won't run away outside general bsb bubble in an elf army; ect.
  • CariadocThorne wrote:

    Aegis vs magic seems very clumsy and inelegant to me. We need more counterplay to magic blastyness IMO, not flat protection. In other words, it should be more like our defence against BS shooting, and require careful positioning and planning to make full use of.

    Having SE needing to dodge around, using cover, range etc to mitigate the effects of shooting, but be able to just march straight into a barrage of fireballs or whatever just seems wrong.

    Giving us skill based counterplay isn't easy to do well. In my Homebrew, I have given some units a conditional +1MR when in cover, to try to make it work more like cover vs regular shooting mechanics, and to represent it requiring more effort to cast a spell at a target when you aren't sure where it is exactly. It isn't quite right, but it's the best idea I've been able to come up with so far. Perhaps instead, any ranged attacks with random numbers of automatic hits, like spells, could have minimized roll for the number of hits if the target SE unit is in cover?
    Maybe allow a unit to stack the MR from another unit nearby within X inches?

    A “ground magic” rule? MM hits which wound with a natural 6 are instead grounded and do not wound. If too strong you could make it part of the save mechanic where a natural 6 saves two wounds instead of one (apply to armour or aegis).
    - The experience of living in a forest and being one with the cycle of life has given SE a modicum of influence over the cycle within the metaphysical, this is strongest when dealing with areas they have an inherent / instinctual affinity with ie missiles.
    "The combination of lemon and habenero peppers was confusing to me. I will pay for this tomorrow i think." - Rosanjin Scholar, Iron Chef
  • CariadocThorne wrote:

    Aegis vs magic seems very clumsy and inelegant to me. We need more counterplay to magic blastyness IMO, not flat protection. In other words, it should be more like our defence against BS shooting, and require careful positioning and planning to make full use of.

    Having SE needing to dodge around, using cover, range etc to mitigate the effects of shooting, but be able to just march straight into a barrage of fireballs or whatever just seems wrong.

    Giving us skill based counterplay isn't easy to do well. In my Homebrew, I have given some units a conditional +1MR when in cover, to try to make it work more like cover vs regular shooting mechanics, and to represent it requiring more effort to cast a spell at a target when you aren't sure where it is exactly. It isn't quite right, but it's the best idea I've been able to come up with so far. Perhaps instead, any ranged attacks with random numbers of automatic hits, like spells, could have minimized roll for the number of hits if the target SE unit is in cover?
    Some kind of limited duration protection might work in this way, so it gives SE a little time to maneuver, but Magic Missiles are still a strong counter to total avoidance. Like, units entirely equipped with Elven Cloaks gain MR1 for the first turn. Maybe something more elegant than that, but you get the idea.

    Data Analysis

  • Going on the idea, what about having RM equal to the malus you would give to a normal shooting attack vs missile damage spells?

    So if you have soft cover plus hard target you would get RM2 against those kind of spells. Long range? Spells that reduces Aim?

    It's what @CariadocThorne said but it also gives an extra leverage if you manage to get hard cover plus hard target allowing to gain up to RM3. And treating some magic as "normal shooting" would be quite a disctintive and unique rule.

    Also it wouldn't be too hard to learn and play with because it uses something we're already used with.
  • Or maybe give (easier) access to magic/ranged damage debuffing spells like Chilling Howl (this is ok already) and Twisted Effigy. By easier I mean that some conclave champions (like Briar maiden) or dryad matriarc might have this access`(referring to Twisted Effigy).
  • Adding more special rules... there should be some kind of a T9A law forbidding adding any new special rules to this game. Unless one would remove at least 2 special rules for each one new addition...

    As for rocks being OP while paper is fine (and we, the Sylvan elves, are the scissors) - elves being too soft, well yeah, they are. And magic obliterates them. Yeah. What is wrong with that?
    About two years ago i traded a unit of Blade Dancers with a Treeman. And never looked back since it solved all my problems of expensive elves dropping like flies.
    Tree - elven synergy lies with trees being resilient and elves being everything else. Sounds like a good synergy to me.
  • Razon wrote:

    Adding more special rules... there should be some kind of a T9A law forbidding adding any new special rules to this game. Unless one would remove at least 2 special rules for each one new addition...

    As for rocks being OP while paper is fine (and we, the Sylvan elves, are the scissors) - elves being too soft, well yeah, they are. And magic obliterates them. Yeah. What is wrong with that?
    About two years ago i traded a unit of Blade Dancers with a Treeman. And never looked back since it solved all my problems of expensive elves dropping like flies.
    Tree - elven synergy lies with trees being resilient and elves being everything else. Sounds like a good synergy to me.
    That's not really synergy. If we had some way to force the enemy to waste autohit attacks on the forest spirits before the elves, then yes, but as it is, they just ignore the forest spirits and target the elves. This is the opposite of a synergy, as it doesn't enourage mixing elves and forest spirits, but instead encourages going all-out on one or the other. Either you take a lot of forest spirits and mostly ignore the elves, giving you an army which doesn't suffer too much from spell damage, or you go heavy on elves, hopinng to use the speed of the elves to be in combat before you take too much damage from magic.

    A few elves might fit in the mostly forest spirit army, especially if they are less vulnerable than normal, like Kestrel Knights or BD with a BD chieftain/prince bumping their MR up to 3, but beyond that, adding elves just gives enemy spellcasters easy targets.

    Similarly, in an elf-centric list, adding some Dryads for scoring or whatever is fine, but adding more forest spirit just means more slower units who aren't going to be in combat as soon as the rest of the army, who are therefore going to get focused by all the enemy ranged capability because they are the only available targets.

    That does raise another possibility, one which could solve both problems. We could have a rule which let the forest spirits "tank" non-bs based ranged damage. Something like forcing enemies to suffer casting penalties, or pass a maximised Di test to target elves with spells if there are forest spirits closer. That would create real synergy between elves and forest spirits, encouraging more mixed armies, while also providing counterplay to spell damage.
    My SE homebrew (New version 7/6/2020)
  • Something like this:

    Sylvan Blessing:
    If one unit without Sylvan Spirit is within 6" of one or more units with Sylvan Spirit hits from missile damage spells are evenly divided between the unit with this rule and the nearest Sylvan Spirit unit.

    Like this we could have "tank" units like small dryads/thicket beasts/treefather suffering half hits from magic giving a real sinergy without being too general (so costly) and with a restrain (units must be near).
    Also targetting only missile spells so pyromancy users doesn't call hell and heaven because now they can't burn elves.

    It wouldn't help units that wander too far, but at least it would make normal infantry blocks more durable by spending some points on trees.
  • CariadocThorne wrote:

    Razon wrote:

    Adding more special rules... there should be some kind of a T9A law forbidding adding any new special rules to this game. Unless one would remove at least 2 special rules for each one new addition...

    As for rocks being OP while paper is fine (and we, the Sylvan elves, are the scissors) - elves being too soft, well yeah, they are. And magic obliterates them. Yeah. What is wrong with that?
    About two years ago i traded a unit of Blade Dancers with a Treeman. And never looked back since it solved all my problems of expensive elves dropping like flies.
    Tree - elven synergy lies with trees being resilient and elves being everything else. Sounds like a good synergy to me.
    That's not really synergy. If we had some way to force the enemy to waste autohit attacks on the forest spirits before the elves, then yes, but as it is, they just ignore the forest spirits and target the elves. This is the opposite of a synergy, as it doesn't enourage mixing elves and forest spirits, but instead encourages going all-out on one or the other. Either you take a lot of forest spirits and mostly ignore the elves, giving you an army which doesn't suffer too much from spell damage, or you go heavy on elves, hopinng to use the speed of the elves to be in combat before you take too much damage from magic.
    A few elves might fit in the mostly forest spirit army, especially if they are less vulnerable than normal, like Kestrel Knights or BD with a BD chieftain/prince bumping their MR up to 3, but beyond that, adding elves just gives enemy spellcasters easy targets.

    Similarly, in an elf-centric list, adding some Dryads for scoring or whatever is fine, but adding more forest spirit just means more slower units who aren't going to be in combat as soon as the rest of the army, who are therefore going to get focused by all the enemy ranged capability because they are the only available targets.

    That does raise another possibility, one which could solve both problems. We could have a rule which let the forest spirits "tank" non-bs based ranged damage. Something like forcing enemies to suffer casting penalties, or pass a maximised Di test to target elves with spells if there are forest spirits closer. That would create real synergy between elves and forest spirits, encouraging more mixed armies, while also providing counterplay to spell damage.
    Please less not more special rules. All armies have to many special rules. Sylvans used to be the army with many special rules everywhere but now most armies are packing too many already and adding more won't solve issues.

    Do you guys really feel that some magic missiles male your elves die too quickly? Apart from fire what else is there that is soo tough and even fire does not really do that much damage does it? Play one game in reverse and see, as in take the fire mage against elves and go all in to see what you can do, it might give a different perspective.

    You can always not give your elves within easy striking distance of the spells, think what the opponent can cast on his turn and where he can move to cast it, then either make sure he can not do what he wants or moving to get range/line of sight/arc makes it a costly risk to them. You can always use trees to put pressure on zones where mage unit can move and therefore lock him out of casting spells on your elves, one more synergy. Also, sometimes with no sacrifice of position, you can simply just hide elves behind trees.

    I do feel magickissilws should require a to hit roll using ballistic skill, except for a few auto hit missiles splashed around for flavour, but that is a different topic. No need to introduce complex rules into the game that prevent opponent's from killing your elves. Simply play to keep them safe and never offer easy points to opponents.
  • So if we combine the 'tree/ Elf anti synergy', 'Elves need magic missile counter', 'needs to be an interesting choice rather than just a straight resistance' and 'No special Rules' parts of this conversation into one solution I think that solution would be;

    Swap Divination or Druidism for Witchcraft on Dryad Ancients (gaining SE access to Twisted Effigy, and other spells which are useful to both Elves, and Trees in combination with Elves)

    This might also encourage character led blocks of Dryads.

    Another solution might be swap Break the Spirit or Truth of Time or Master of earth for Twisted Effigy on Briar Maidens. Doesn't add synergy with trees though.

    Data Analysis

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Hachiman Taro ().

  • Well if is not a problem fire or other missiles people should spam them in tournaments no ?
    I will keep practicing and trying to do something productive but SE are clearly T4 and is stupid bring them in tournaments... OFC if no one plays fire, there are low missiles and definetly a different meta, this book would be T2 (I find enough sinergy with trees acting like an anvil)...
    Just I claim options to try to avoid it, I Don’t want aegis 4 against magic or something, I want items which can quit enemie dice, bows able to kill wizards or able to reduce veils... just one tool for use it... because in some matchups you feel like the game is equal and anyone can afford victory but in other matchups ...
  • Cam wrote:

    SE complaining about bad matches against magic missiles tend to forget in some games they can’t be caught and it’s equally frustrating the other way round.
    I want to see RPS with SE reduced to the point that neither player ever feels that level of frustration due to one list hard-countering the other. That means keeping careful control of SE shooty avoidance, AND ensuring that SE have counterplay to magic missiles.
    My SE homebrew (New version 7/6/2020)
  • The point is that if the SE player CHOOSES to opt for a Rock-Paper-Scissors build, then he shouldn't complain for being hard countered.
    My post and some that followed claim that there IS a way to play a balanced Sylvan Elf list that doesn't "auto-lose" to magic missiles.

    Then again, these balanced lists are not part of the frustrating lists that nobody can catch, as @Cam points out. So perhaps T9A balancing works as intended?

    Also, regarding Tree/Elf synergy: I took a double Treefather list to ETC on the year (2017) when everyone and their mother were bringing Rings of Fire and Pyromancy with D6 hits per scorching salvo. The fact that I had the tree spirits in the list helped offset the fragile nature of the elves (I was using bladedancers and forest guard as my fighting blocks). I think that's what @Razon is getting at with his (more recent, admittedly) hands-on experience.
  • One problem with points of view and especially points of view in words, and particularly those in writing, and even more particularly writing on the internet, is that it by necessity tries to distill many very complex things into one simple thing you end up expressing. And thus many nuanced shades of grey tend to lose fidelity and become either black or white.

    It can be both true that balanced lists are better against magic missiles and that we could make further refinements to improve the variability of archetypes that are fun to play with and against and also well balanced against a wider variety of opponents. On the internet it often seems those two are diametrically opposed. I don't think they are though.

    Same as some times being unable to be caught and being too vulnerable to magic missiles can seem to be diametrically opposed, but if we think about solutions creatively, carefully and progressively, they don't necessarily have to be. I don't know how often SE forget about the former though, given we seem to be reminded at every opportunity, and every balance update for SE this concern is always the most heavily considered and accounted for one.

    I feel like we've done a lot of work to improve SE to the point where they are generally in a pretty good spot. And yet, it's not in opposition to that at all to say there are definitely more iterative improvements we can make going forward :)

    Data Analysis

  • I feel like I need to pressure early and harder with the current book compared to previous iterations. I used to enjoy ‘pull’ lists based on decent shooting backed with magic (buffs or missiles, whichever) but now this style feels less effective or to have less pull power. The change came during the pyro phase a year or so back and I don’t feel like the balance has been righted yet.

    On a separate note: I feel that BD are showing up in far more lists than they used to. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not as they are a unit which can potentially cover deeper issues in the book due to their flexibility and blending nature.
    "The combination of lemon and habenero peppers was confusing to me. I will pay for this tomorrow i think." - Rosanjin Scholar, Iron Chef